BODVOC,a three tailed horse and a sense of place……….

Being encouraged to stay close to home for over a year during the pandemic has been difficult in so many ways but has created far more appreciation of valuable local assets. For me the benefit of being able to view some of the ancient hills and woodlands of Bagendon and North Cerney near Cirencester from the back of a plucky little Icelandic horse during the lockdown gave me a renewed love of the place that I made my home more than 30 years ago.

LOUISE AND MORGAN,THE ICELANDIC HORSE

During a visit to the new ‘Stone Age to Corinium’ exhibition at the Corinium Museum in November 2020 I fell in love with a late Iron Age gold coin depicting a three tailed horse pulling a chariot with the word BODVOC on the reverse. It was a thing of simple beauty with amazing detail. I cannot imagine the thrill of digging up such a coin.The original piece would have been struck with dies using ancient tools demonstrating the skill of the craftsmen and women at that time and it has been wonderful to think that the treasures on display have been found in the locality which gives one an amazing connection to them.Horse trading in Bagendon and the surrounding area was an important aspect of life in Iron Age times with little horses similar to some of the native breeds of small horses that still survive today being bought with such coins.To think of the hands of Iron Age men and women that have held such a coin…from the manufacture of it to the exchange between traders is a wonderful thing to think about…

The Iron Age gold stater
Collaborating with Jack Row on the CAD build

Although the beautiful coin held some similarities to many of our ancient looking signature style in some of our collections, particularly our Amulet pendants, which use traditional goldsmithing skills only , the fine detail of the three tailed horse needed to be perfected with the precision of CAD and 3D printing and then combined with hands on soldering and texturing.Collaborating with CAD expert Jack Row we were able to recreate a reconstruction of the coin from sketches and photographs ,as we were unable to have the actual piece in our hands and for much of last year were unable to go into the museum to see it in the flesh!

When the first prototypes were produced we were amazed at the accuracy of the size and detail.

The Bodvoc Pendant will be on sale exclusively at the Corinium Museum shop.Available in Silver and Gold-plated Silver ,each pendant comes presented in a Louise Parry box.

All work on this pendant design and all profits go towards funding the Corinium Museum, now and into the future….

The Corinium Museum is a precious asset for the local as well as the wider community and we feel immensely proud that we can use the skills that we have at our fingertips to support it in our own small way….

Remodelling Stories…..

For many years it has been a hugely enjoyable part of my work to be presented with the challenge of turning sometimes simply dated or unloved pieces of jewellery into amazing new treasures to be adored and worn regularly.

Since 1987 when I started my business at the then Cirencester Workshops there have been many clients who have brought in family heirlooms encompassing beautiful stones or simply pieces that need new life breathing into them. It is always a huge expression of trust to be asked to take much valued items and take them apart before remodelling. So often jewellery possesses so much emotion within it and over the years we have become very much a part of our clients lives and personal stories. One lady even brought in her wedding ring after a very acrimonious divorce and insisted on passing the ring through our metal rollers herself before I was able to refashion it into an empowering necklace.

Janet brought in her husband’s wedding band a couple of years ago. Sadly due to illness her husband was unable to wear his ring any longer and Janet felt that she wanted to wear it as a pendant close to her heart. 22ct gold is beautifully pliable and wonderful to remodel. I was able to melt, roll and hammer out the gold and rework it into one of my signature Amulet pendants that Janet had coveted for some time. The forged texturing on the gold exuded warmth and made it reminiscent of ancient artefacts.

Janet’s 22ct gold Amulet Pendant

Often someone will bring in a bag of inherited but ‘not to their style’ pieces to go through and it can be so rewarding to sometimes find that the most unattractive piece in their collection can hold the loveliest precious stones.

A few years ago a lady brought in five diamond rings, After removing the gems from the rings and cleaning them, it was decided that clustering the diamonds closely together in one piece actually made less of them than by creating some distance between each stone. Judi is a very stylish and elegant person and was keen to have something that would not age her with a lot of heavy gold but would look beautiful and sophisticated when worn with an evening gown. With the budget we had I incorporated a leather adjustable necklet into the piece with a lovely back pendant that perfectly fitted with her favourite backless dress.

Actual size paper models were made up that were tried for size , followed by a silver prototype
Judy’s remodelled gold and diamond pendant

Stacking rings are often a hugely successful solution for reusing larger stones that may look cumbersome set on one band. They are also a great way of providing the illusion of a wider ring but provide more comfort with varying sizes to each shank depending on the warmth of the day. When Sally brought in a claw set high ring encompassing seven marquise sapphires it was crucial to her that far more was made of the beautiful blue stones.I suggested making a more practical and versatile stack of rings. The final design threw up some unexpected and delightful design combinations as the angled marquise stones set on the organic wave bands gave the appearance of a shoal of bright blue fish when stacked in different ways. The beauty with a well designed ring stack is that the permutations for wearing different numbers of rings or stacked in a different order are many and all with their own distinct appeal.

The sapphires are released from their settings!

Perfect 18ct gold yellow gold settings were carefully drawn up to fit each stone and then 3D printed models made before casting in gold
Working out the combinations
Stacks of two or three work equally well for ‘understated days’
The complete stack in a combination of 18ct yellow and white gold and a couple in silver and gold too
The first try on by me to see how the rings all flow together… LOVE the shoal effect!

Over the next few months I will revisit stacking rings on another blog as they continue to be one of my most enjoyable type of commission and I have many examples that I have mainly posted upon my Facebook pages.

My final example here is another similar stack that I was commissioned to make for a lovely couple who came over to visit the shop and workshop from New Zealand. John and Derryn then returned a few years later to celebrate their wedding anniversary travelling in Europe. After coveting the ring stacks in our shop, it was decided to remodel Derryn’s wedding and engagement rings as well as two others that had been left in a drawer for quite a while.

While John and Derryn were living it up in Paris and LeMans I set to work to create a perfectly balanced stack of rings in 18ct gold, platinum and silver…..

Four rings for remodelling
Rough drawings ,details and workings out

When making the stacks I always consider the ‘slotting’ together from two to six bands.

The Complete Stack with an added champagne diamond….
Stack of Four
Stack of three diamonds only

John and Derryn were thrilled with the rings and indeed the whole experience of having Derryn’s rings reimagined. They told me that the process added something very special to their amazing wedding anniversary tour…

The Eclipse Collection

The lunar eclipse that took place on 16th July 2019 was a notable day in my year and one which inspired new designs for my jewellery. I have been a bit of a ‘stargazer’ for a number of years and am lucky to have a good telescope these days to further that passion. Watching the eclipse and the details of the moon, the light and the shadow on the exterior orb inspired me to take out my sketch pad to record what I was witnessing in the moment. It was this sighting and those breathtaking seconds that inspired me to create the ‘Eclipse’ collection. My work is very much driven by the world around me and my jewellery is created to be treasured and worn fondly by others.

My sketchpad on 16th July 2019

This limited-edition collection is even more special than most as each of the larger pieces within the ‘Eclipse’ collection is unique and built around a selection of beautiful rectangular tourmalines in peacock green, blue and pink which were sourced especially for this design. No two pieces are the same.

 When first exhibited at Goldsmiths’ Fair in 2019, I was humbled to have sold out of the collection completely and have endeavored to continue to make similar designs as they echo the feel of much of my jewellery and timepieces.

‘Eclipse’ is made from silver and 18ct gold, set with tourmalines and a clean line is cut through the textured surface and punctuated with tiny diamonds to add a little sparkle. The pendants are available on a silver or steel necklet which set off the geometry of the piece perfectly. Tiny pendants are also available on snake chains. Eclipse pendants can be made to order using different sizes and stones.

Eclipse pendants waiting to be finished

Price list:

Stud earrings – Silver£110

Stud earring – 18ct Gold vermeil on silver£120

 Tiny pendant – silver – £140

Tiny pendant – 18ct Gold vermeil on silver – £140

Diamond pendant – silver with 18ct gold settings – £520

Pink tourmaline pendant – silver with 18ct gold settings – £980

Small green tourmaline pendant – silver with 18ct gold settings – £720

Large green pendant – silver with 18ct gold settings – £1390

I can make to order other Eclipse pendants if different sizes,materials and stones are requested. Prices available on application.

I like to create a new collection every year and it was a regular client that helped to nurture my latest collection when looking for a 40th birthday present for his wife. During a scheduled appointment during the summer to my shop, he fell in love with one of the Eclipse pendants that I had in the window. However, we both felt it was too large for his wife and I set about designing a smaller piece which he wanted in platinum, which his wife preferred. I revisited my sketch pad of Eclipse designs and created the ‘Lumin’ collection based upon the bright unshadowed side of the moon.

Lumin Pendant

I have kept it a secret for months, so that my client’s  wife could see her wonderful platinum version of the ‘Lumin’ pendant before anyone else.

I am both proud and excited to share the beginnings of this new collection with you. Both pendant and earrings are available in silver and 18ct gold and to commission in platinum and 18ct gold. ‘Lumin’ refers to brightness and also towards being powerful, which is a feeling that many need right now.

The full range of this new ‘Lumin’ collection will be unveiled early in the new year.

Lumin Price List:

Silver and diamond Earrings – £270

Silver and diamond Pendant – £270

Some kind of normal

The summer has been very unusual for us this year.As lockdown restrictions relaxed in June we have been very busy with private appointments to view our designs and for commissioned pieces.

It has been a real privilege to work with clients who’ve travelled from far and wide after being in a ‘bubble’ for several months and we have not taken our responsibility in creating a safe place to visit lightly.